Zalatas Character in Golarion | World Anvil


(a.k.a. Herald of Tharzduun, Breaker of Chains)

During the Age of Legend, a tribe of humans was captured by serpentfolk and taken into the Darklands. The serpentfolk took the entire tribe to an ancient temple, intending to sacrifice them to what they believed was an ancient serpent god. The tribal chieftain, Zalatas, watched in horror as his people were tortured and slain before his eyes. As his own torture began, he heard a voice speak out to him. The voice came from the forgotten mad god Tharzduun. The blood sacrifices were happening in his temple, which allowed Tharzduun the briefest of opportunities to reach out from his abyssal prison. Contact with the mad god bent Zalatas' sanity, but Tharzduun promised power beyond mortals and gods if he agreed to break the seals, the chains that bound Tharzduun to the Abyss. Zalatas agreed and became the Herald of Tharzduun, the Breaker of Chains. Zalatas freed himself, killed the serpentfolk, and returned to the surface to begin his quest.   It is unclear how many of the protective seals of Tharzduun’s prison Zalatas destroyed before gaining the notice of the celestial guardian Algolon. Algolon sent his celestial knights, the Wind Dukes of Algolon, to confront Zalatas. The Destroyer of Worlds laid waste to the knights, literally tearing them apart for daring to try to stop his “great work.” Of the fifteen that confronted him, only seven Wind Dukes survived.   After they recovered, the seven Wind Dukes set off on a quest to find a weapon or secret that could stop Zalatas. Drawing upon Algolon’s vast knowledge, the seven created two of the most potent artifacts in history – the Wyrmstones and the forgehammer known as Requiem. The Wind Dukes faced Zalatas again and struck him down with the hammer. Then, while he was vulnerable, they trapped Zalatas within the Soul Gem, which was then shattered into three pieces and spread across Golarion. Zalatas would be forever imprisoned until those three pieces could be brought back together once again.   The soul shards remained hidden for ages. One of them was discovered by Lasdolon, who used the shard to place the essence of Zalatas into the drow wizard Nolveniss Azrinae. Nolveniss, fuelled with the power of Zalatas, faced down an adventuring party known as the Guardians of Golarion. The Guardians managed to slay Nolveniss, but Zalatas took over the drow's body in those final moments and fled. He and Lasdolon later faced the Guardians in a temple of Tharzduun deep beneath the city of Riddleport. Zalatas was slain for a second time, and his spirit fragment was destroyed.   The Guardians discovered a second soul shard within the temple. Using the spell Secret Chest, the shard was placed within the larger chest and sent to the Ethereal Plane. Then, by destroying the smaller chest, the larger chest would be lost in the Ethereal Plane. The Guardians took the chest, sent the soul shard away, and destroyed the smaller chest. They sent the shard of the soul stone into the Ethereal Plane, lost forever.   The final shard had been discovered by an ancient and powerful lich named Nhamking deep beneath the fallen city of Enkiral. Nhamking kept the shard in his laboratory, where the lich would research and conduct experiments to understand what was inside. It had no idea what the soul shard was, only that it was an item of great power. However, this mere fraction of Zalatas was so powerful that it was slowly corrupting Nhamking.   The Guardians of Golarion found the lich's laboratory. The soul shard had exploded earlier during its experiments, and Nhamking was driven out of his laboratory. However, the essence of Zalatas possessed Nhamking's assistant - a dragon that had once been copper but was transformed into a Void dragon. With Nhamking returning, the Guardians threw themselves at the dragon hoping to kill it and stop the last remaining essence of Zalatas that Lasdolon could get his hands on. They killed the creature, forcing the spirit of Zalatas out of the dragon's body. In one last desperate attempt, the spirit of Zalatas tried to possess Telith, a cleric of Iomedae. The Protection from Evil aura kept it from getting close enough, and the spirit dissipated into nothingness.
Divine Classification
Celestial Entity
Current Status
Trapped in a soul shard somewhere on the Ethereal Plane.